The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of June 17 to June 24, 2021
What makes Winchendon what it is...How we're making Winchendon even better

HEAL Winchendon Celebrates "A Taste of Winchendon"

Taste of Winchendon Event
Attendees enjoy multiple forms of international cuisine ranging from Egyptian to Puerto Rican delights and more.
Photo by Keith Kent
Taste of Winchendon Event
Brian Dickens entertains the crowd with a diverse range of song styles and lyrics.
Photo by Keith Kent

HEAL Winchendon celebrated a Taste of Winchendon on the lawn of the Beals Memorial Library Saturday, June 12, delighting those in attendance with international cultural experiences from all over the world.

HEAL Winchendon states its mission on its website as: "A community movement for long lasting, up-stream change to improve the health and quality of life of Winchendon's residents. We work hand in hand, building on our shared strengths and knowledge to address the daily struggles and needs of Community residents, in the three independent areas of Healthy Food Access, Economic Empowerment, and Social Inclusion."

"Taste of Winchendon" was designed to provide an inclusive, multicultural celebration of diversity. It attracted both locals and people from out of town, with singing, dance performances demonstrating international artistic styles, and food with flavors from around the globe.

The event promoted and featured international cuisine provided by local vendors and residents, offering up a variety of tasty treats to enthusiastic attendees as they moved from tent to tent. The HEAL Winchendon food offerings were free of charge to the public thanks to a generous grant allowing HEAL to pay the various food providers for their creations.

Not Just Produced served Pulled Pork. Winchendon entrepreneur Ilia Diaz provided popular Puerto Rican cuisine including Puerto Rican Pulled Pork, Beef Empanadas, Guava Empanadas, Puerto Rican rice and Puerto Rican potato salad. Pizza slices and an Egyptian pasta dish were prepared by Gabby's Pizza. Both Savory and Sweet Baklava came from the chefs at C&S Pizza. These and other tasty treats had a steady stream of people coming through the food tents all event long, with many going back for seconds.

HEAL Project Manager Miranda Jennings said, "Ilia was up cooking all night the last two nights to help bring all this awesome Puerto Rican food here. She even did all the desserts here today, with Guava Pineapple Cupcakes, Chocolate, Strawberry, and Vanilla cupcakes and more!"

Looking to promote diversity on a variety of town boards with open seats to be filled, Director of Planning and Development Tracy Murphy and Town Manager's Assistant Taylor Tower worked an information booth highlighting openings and seeking applicants.

Winchendon Board of Selectmen members Audrey LaBrie, Barbara Anderson, and Rick Ward attended in support of the HEAL event, with LaBrie even volunteering to be dunked in the dunk tank for the cause.

Taste of Winchendon Event
HEAL Project Manager Miranda Jennings (center) informs attendees about the agency's multiple mission statements and causes they support.
Photo by Keith Kent
Joining a diverse artistic performance display, Winchendon native Brian Dickens performed live music for entertainment. An inpromptu Latin Dance class was given to some twenty brave attendees by Salsa Passions, which provides professional dance lessons. Even the art of Belly Dancing was displayed in a performance by Rajuili Fae, who will be opening Magnolia Studio on Front Street in Winchendon next month.

The Winchendon Cultural Council provided a grant to fund 25 street pole banners, featuring original artwork by Winchendon young people and adults, which will decorate downtown streets. The banner art contest, run with the assistance of the Gardner Area League of Artists (GALA), will amplify what residents love about Winchendon and hope to reach for a better future. Hundreds of public school students took part in the banner contest, with the winners to be chosen by GALA and the WCC.

The event's young organizational team comprised members ranging in ages from 15 to 21, including Angelina Dellasanta, 15, Camille Heart, 16, Julia Brennan, 16, Shane Burton, 16, Logan LeBlanc, 18, and Jeremy Diaz, 21.

Youngest organizing member Angelina Dellasanta was excited about the event and what its cause meant as a planner and helper. Dellasanta said, "Our group is called the Youth Change Makers which is a working group. Our goal is to involve the youth of Winchendon to make events like this with the goal of bringing everybody together. Our positions are applied for, and we as students of Winchendon are passionate about bringing people together in creating diversity, culture, and just being able to celebrate it.

"I like the idea of promoting cultural causes and service in Winchendon," Dellasanta added. "I have grown up here in this town my entire life, and I genuinely want to make Winchendon a better place for everybody to be celebrated and welcomed."

Camielle Hart was asked what about the event stands out to her. Hart responded, "The one thing I kept in mind for today was how separated our community became throughout the pandemic and also the events that occurred during it. I think this event can bring everybody together through the food and celebrations of culture we have here today while celebrating Winchendon as a whole, that's incredibly important.

"I am really excited to be part of planning this and providing it to our residents and being given the opportunity to come here and make it all happen. We all live here and we all have something in common."

Jeremy Diaz who is 21 years old and assisted with sound and music on stage, was heavily involved with the event's planning according to Dellasanta and Hart.

When asked about the HEAL celebration, Diaz said, "It really means a lot to me to see how this all came together into play, and also how many people are coming here today to support the event. We just want to help people get to learn different cultures and know about different parts of the world."

From the Winchendon Community Action Committee (CAC) to Growing Places, multiple organizations were on hand taking part in the event. Heywood Healthcare sponsored the raffle baskets, Winchendon Public Schools assisted with many tables and supplies, CHNA9 funded the grant which the Youth Change Makers applied for and received, GALA contributed with an art show next door, free ice cream and hundreds of dollars in raffle prizes. The Winchendon School and GFA Credit Union also aided in the event cause.

HEAL Project Manager Miranda Jennings, at the end of the day, was very pleased with how everything went. Jennings said, "This was our first huge event, our first event, we bit off a lot, and we rocked it. Every single member of our HEAL team worked their butts off and brought something different to it. They all owned it. This wouldn't have been possible if we didn't do it as a team. I am just amazed.

"I think we did a really good job modeling what HEAL is really all about which is bringing and empowering our youth, our residents, so our youth and residents worked leading it all. Our Town Manager came here, all our supporting organization were here, so many did so much in different ways."

Speaking of current projects, Jennings said, "Our Youth Change Makers have been working on a little project of theirs called a Mobile Cafe, selling fair trade organic coffee and local goods, because our goal is to have another cafe in Winchendon where it is a place for more youth to be able to hang out. Money raised today will be for the youth here to direct toward that and other projects.

"The entire point of today's event was to bring our community here, celebrate our community and all the diversity here, and our voices. We did that and more," Jennings said. "I am very happy with how it all came together, and our young members did a awesome job!"

Taste of Winchendon Event
Fiona Bryne, formerly of Ireland, a resident of the USA for 9 years and Winchendon for 7, sings the song "Parting Glass," receiving a healthy round of applause from the crowd.
Photo by Keith Kent
Taste of Winchendon Event
Growing Places attends the Taste of Winchendon celebration providing fresh foods with their mobile produce facility.
Photo by Keith Kent

ConComm Hearing for Community Park Amphitheatre Project Raises Questions, Concerns

At a hearing before the Conservation Commission on Thursday, June 10, David Pollak from Abacus Architects + Planners and Daniel Gagne, Professional Engineer from Beals+Thomas, Inc. presented the latest updates in the plans for an open-air amphitheatre and stage proposed for the Winchendon Community Park off of Maple Street. Both residents and Commission members raised numerous questions and concerns about the evolving project.

The amphitheatre construction is being funded entirely by the Robinson Broadhurst Foundation. It was first introduced at a public meeting on January 30, 2020 at the American Legion Post 193 (see "Focus Group Offers Feedback on Plans for Amphitheatre in Winchendon Community Park" in the January 30-February 6 2020 edition of the Courier). More details, including the full history of the proposal from Robinson Broadhurst, were given at a public hearing before the Board of Selectmen on November 9, 2020 (see "Robinson Broadhurst Foundation and Abacus Architects Present Plans and Timeline for Performing Arts Center in Winchendon Community Park" in the November 12-19 2020 edition of the Courier).

The overall design of the amphitheatre remains the same, but some changes and refinements have been made. The amphitheatre will consist of tiered seating with space to accommodate about 300 people. The retaining walls of the tiers will be constructed of pre-fabricated concrete sections with natural fieldstone faces, dividing the slope into broad grass-covered terraces. The tiers will face Whitney Pond. A 24 x 38 foot roofed stage, open at the back, will face the tiers. The drive from Maple Street to the amphitheatre will be repaved. A 50-space parking lot will be constructed in the woods above the amphitheatre, on the west side of the drive, with overflow parking for up to 156 additional cars in the soccer field near the park entrance. Separate handicap accessible parking spaces in an earlier version of the plan are now incorporated into the general parking lot. A new lighted sidewalk will lead from Maple Street to the amphitheatre, accessible to wheelchair users, and electrical service to the site will be upgraded. Handicap accessible portable toilets will be available in warmer weather. A road encircling the amphitheatre and stage will allow small load-in trucks, emergency vehicles, and wheelchairs access to the stage. The front edge of the stage will be level with the grass in front of it.

The plan includes removing the house currently at the site. The Winchendon Fire Department plans to do a controlled burn of the building as a training exercise. The foundation will be removed below grade and filled, returning the space to level grass. The barn and garage on the site will be renovated at a future time.

The Town of Winchendon has applied for a Complete Streets grant to improve safety at the pedestrian crossing on Maple Street to the entrance of the park. Currently the only sidewalk on Maple Street is across the street from the park. Plans include curb cuts for wheelchairs and pedestrian signals to alert drivers.

The Town is engaging an independent security consultant to improve security in the park. Concerns have been raised about the chronic vandalism and littering in the park at the present time, and the vulnerability of the new facility. "All the design of the amphitheatre and the parking and the lighting is all going to be as vandal-resistant, and as quiet as possible, so that there won't be any attractive nuisance presented by the new construction," Mr. Pollak stated.

Mr. Pollak stated that plans for use of the stage are still "nascent"--programs could include concerts, a high school play, movie nights, and so on, it's very open. "What we have designed is low-impact and low maintenance, that will be a lovely place three hundred and sixty five days of the year, so that if somebody is just snowshoeing through there in the winter, it's just a nice, quiet place to be," he said. "It's useful, but doesn't cost the town a lot of money to keep up."

Mr. Gagne then took the microphone to explain that storm water management and wetlands protection features include pervious pavement in the parking area, rip rap below the stage where the ground slopes down to the pond and along the access road around the amphitheatre, a detention basin on the east side of the driveway, and a crushed stone swale between the repaved driveway and the new sidewalk. One corner of the stage extends slightly into the 100-foot wetland buffer zone around the pond.

The full presentation may be viewed here. (PDF)

Maple Street resident Rick Lucier raised a question about the accuracy of the hundred year high water mark on the plans. "I know right now it's down considerably because of the drought and because of the broken dam [Whites Mill Dam]," he said. "If that dam was fixed and the water was at the current level, that line comes way the heck up, and it should be marked on the flood maps that show that hundred-year high water mark."

Mr. Lucier continued, "As an abutter to this property, I don't want to give any authorization to move forward on this project until somebody can tell me why they're going to kill all these live trees that are in that buffer area. There's a presence over there of a bald and juvenile eagles that are in these areas, these are their hunting perches. There is one tree that's already been designated as a stay-away zone, it's behind the barn, Lionel got somebody from Westborough to come out and sighted it, and said there's a 75-foot circumference around that tree that cannot be touched. This park was to be a community park and a wildlife refuge area. You put that in there, you're going to destroy a lot of the habitat and the natural running area, where the deer go along the waterline and flourish through there."

Mr. Lucier also pointed out that Maple Street at that point is a state road, Route 202 North. "It took about a year and a half just to get a grant to put the curb cut in the exit road" to the park, which he helped to design. "Do they foresee that this is going to take a lot of time? Cause the state does not move very quickly when you go looking for a curb cut."

Mr. Lucier was asked to organize his concerns into a bullet-pointed list and provide it to the Commission so they could consider the issues individually. Mr. Lucier said he would like a chance to examine the plans in detail.

After the discussion digressed slightly into uses of the park, which did not fall under the purview of the Conservation Commission, the Commission raised questions about the location of the amphitheatre and parking, asking whether they could be pushed further back from the water and reduce the potential impact on the wetland buffer zones. "This is conservation [land] and you've got plenty of room to stay out of that hundred foot and seventy-five foot zone," said Commission member David Whittaker. "I really think you need to bump it back."

Mr. Pollak responded, "The position of all of the park components has been very carefully worked over a long period of time, and with very close attention to the buffers. The vision for the amphitheatre is an outdoor room in the woods. And in order to place it in the woods, we need to make sure that it's far enough from the traffic circle and the driveway and the dropoff that there can be trees between the barn and the driveway, and the experience of the amphitheatre. And so we've got the stage and the stage roof just edging into the hundred foot buffer, and then we've got some storm water mitigation, or the scouring mitigation just behind that."

Mr. Pollak went on, "To push it completely, just up up up up, means it's going to be right on the road. You'll drive down that road and you'll be in the amphitheatre, and you won't have the same sense of being in the woods."

He added that the amphitheatre components had been carefully positioned so that none of the existing trails in the park would have to be moved. Pushing back any of them would impact the trails.

Mr. Whittaker said that his real issue was the position of the amphitheatre itself so close to the water. Mr. Pollak explained that they were taking advantage of the old "carriage road" which the stage sits against, and which creates a flat space behind the stage. "We are here for feedback, we really want to know," Mr. Pollak said. "We want to come back at the continuation with something that meets the needs of this Board, as well as the town in general, broadly."

Elm Street resident Lisa Gauthier came to the microphone to express concerns about the "carriage road" which was once known as Ingleside Drive and begins at the corner of Maple and Elm Streets near her home. "This is the first I heard of an amphitheatre, is the last few months. Never heard of it before. And I'm a direct abutter," she stated. "And what is the plan for Ingleside Drive, are they going to pave it, are they going to do something to it, are there going to be cars driving on it?" She stated that she "has seen nothing but trouble" since the park opened and that park visitors park on Elm Street. Winchendon Community Park Committee member Jane LaPointe explained that the road is just a walking trail and will remain so. Ms. Gauthier was advised to take her concerns to the Planning Board.

The hearing was continued to July 8.

BOS Votes to Recognize Mellen Road as a Town Road by Prescription

At their meeting on Monday, June 14, the Winchendon Board of Selectmen voted to recognize Mellen Road from number 195 to number 565 as a town road by prescription, resolving a debate that had continued through two Annual Town Meetings and many meetings of the Planning Board, Finance Committee and Board of Selectmen.

The lengthy discussion reviewed known information, but included some new clarification. According to Selectman Barbara Anderson, who had spoken at length with Mellen Road resident M.J. Galat, the northernmost section of Mellen Road is the section that had been discontinued as a town way, and which was kept an unaccepted road by the preference of the property owners. Referred to jokingly as a "goat path" in the discussion, this segment of Mellen Road is gated at either end, barely driveable, and connects farm properties between Town Farm Road and the lower end of Mellen Road.

The rest of Mellen Road, as emphasized by resident David Watkins, is and has been legally treated as a town road for many years. It has been maintained, was paved in the late 1980s using town equipment, and was paved last fall using town equipment. Approval Not Required (ANR) lots were created on the road, which may only be done on a public way according to state law. The state accepted the property for the state forest under the condition that there was public access to the forest, and the sole access to the state forest is via Mellen Road.

Attorney Jonathan D. Eichman from KP Law, who is familiar with legalities about roadways, was scheduled to attend the meeting but did not appear due to a minor accident. He had sent a letter to the concerned parties stating his recommendations. Town Manager Justin Sultzbach felt that the Board should not make a decision without hearing the advice of counsel. However, Selectman Anderson argued that Atty. Eichman had shared his views in writing, and the Board should resolve the matter.

Department of Public Works Director Brian Croteau affirmed that once he had a written statement from the Board of Selectmen that Mellen Road was an accepted town way, he would be able to apply for Chapter 70 monies from the state for that road.

Selectman Danielle LaPointe made a motion (with several amendments) that the Board recognize Mellen Road from number 195 to number 565 as a town road by prescription. The motion passed with 3 in favor, 1 opposed, Selectman Rick Ward casting the dissenting vote. Selectman Amy Salter was not present.

Selectman Anderson thanked everyone generally for "being very patient" with the Board as they worked on understanding the history and issues and finding a satisfactory resolution.

5th Annual Fall Festival to be held October 9, 2021

We are excited to announce that the 5th Annual Fall Festival will be held on Saturday, October 9, 2021! This will be the fifth year that the Winchendon Fall Festival has been located on Central Street. At past year's festivals, there have been over 200 crafters, vendors, and businesses set up along Central Street with over 8,000+ in attendance. Many craft vendors will be selling their handmade items. Not all vendors accept credit cards so it is best to bring cash to pay for your purchases, although there are some ATM machines along the festival route. There will be many children's activities including bouncy houses, pumpkin painting and face painting to name a few. There will be a variety of food available, a beer tent and local bands! We pride ourselves on this fun family event!

Winchendon Fall Festival will be taking place in the heart of Winchendon on Central Street from Front Street to Maple Street. If you are using a GPS mapping service, please keep in mind that there may be some road closures and detours in the immediate area of the festival; please use Central Street and Front Street for your destination.

Vendors interested in registering may find the application here (PDF).

For further information contact Nicole Roberts at 978-297-3537 or

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Winchendon Man Seriously Injured in Altercation with Neighbor

On June 10, Lt. Kevin Wolski of the Winchendon Police Department released the following statement:

"At approximately 12 AM on Thursday morning June 10th Winchendon police were called to the intersection of Juniper and Maple Street for a fight. Upon arrival officers found 41 year old Joseph Collins of 28 Maple Street lying in the street unconscious with an apparent head injury.

"The initial investigation revealed that Mr. Collins was involved in an altercation with his neighbor 38 yr. old Donald Devarney Jr of 28 Juniper St. Mr. Devarney was subsequently arrested and later arraigned in Winchendon district court on one count of assault and battery with serious bodily injury.

"Mr. Collins was transported to UMass hospital in Worcester by life flight helicopter where he is being treated for his injuries.

"Winchendon Police Sgt Daniel Wolski and Officer Brandon Lucier are investigating with assistance of State Police Detectives. This is an ongoing investigation."

Residents in the area reported on social media that they heard shouts and screams before the police were called.

Council on Aging Now Hiring Part Time Position

The Council on Aging is seeking a part time employee, 18 hours a week from Monday through Friday. The ideal candidate would:

  • Be able to lift 50 pounds
  • Be able to load/unload food
  • Have an excellent driving record
  • Enjoy working with elders
  • Maintain vehicle inside and out (referring to the Director when repairs are needed)
  • Keep vehicle fueled
  • Be able to maintain accurate records
  • Other duties as required
For more information, please call the Council on Aging at 978-297-3155. Application deadline is June 29, 2021.

The Town of Winchendon is an equal opportunity employer.

Local Organic Farmers to Host Workshop: Layer Management with Chicken Tractors

Many Hands Organic Farm will be hosting a workshop regarding Layer Management with Chicken Tractors on July 10th from 10:00 to noon at the farm in Barre. We will discuss the benefits of a mobile house where chickens can pasture and get some hands-on experience building a new house. Egg collection, feeding and watering, and security from roaming dogs and wildlife will also be discussed. Registration is available on the Many Hands Organic Farm website at

BOS Signs Proclamation Recognizing June as Pride Month in Winchendon

Following a presentation by Murdock High School students Camille Hart and Angelina Dellasanta, and Assistant Head of School at the Winchendon School Alicia Jordan, the Board of Selectmen unanimously voted to proclaim and recognize the month of June as Pride Month in the town of Winchendon.

Ms. Hart began by saying, "The inspiration for this proclamation came about after several Winchendon residents inquired on social media about any Pride celebrations and recognition in Winchendon. Many were parents looking for support, inclusion and belonging for their children. Their inquiries were unfortunately met with many hateful responses that were devastating to see. We have learned from conversations and stories shared specifically by local youth over this past year that many do not feel comfortable being open about their sexual orientation or gender due to safety concerns."

She went on to share some statistics from the Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for youth in the LGTBQIA+ community. "42 percent of LGBTQIA+ youth, including more than half of transgender and non-binary youth, seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year. Two in three LGBTQIA+ youth reported that someone tried to convince them to change their sexual orientation or gender identity, with youth who have undergone conversion therapy more than twice as likely to attempt suicide as those who did not. 71 percent of LGBTQIA+ youth reported discrimination due to either their sexual orientation or gender identity," Ms. Hart reported.

"We have learned that many other towns in Massachusetts, including Leominster, Gardner, Fitchburg, Princeton, Milton, Lexington and Ashburnham have adopted similar proclamations," Ms. Hart concluded, "and we hope that Winchendon will follow."

Ms. Dellasanta continued the presentation. "As a young person in Winchendon, one of my greatest hopes for this town is to confidently say that I live in a fully inclusive and supportive community that celebrates people of all backgrounds and lifestyles. By acknowledging June as Pride Month, we're taking this next step towards that reality. Winchendon is a special community and people choose to live here their entire lives because they fell in love with the town and the people. This gives us more reason to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ citizens who live here. Leading by example and representation is essential in creating fully inclusive community. By doing this, we're showing the youth and the adult population of our town that our town supports, validates and recognizes them as human beings despite their gender identity and/or sexual orientation."

Ms. Jordan made the third statement in the presentation, saying, "As a member of the gay community, I truly believe the lives of LGBTQIA+ individuals are not political. Instead, it is a human rights issue. To attach politics to this would be misguided, and if individuals do not agree and think LGBTQIA+ people are "making a choice" to pursue a life of discrimination, that is inaccurate. For example, people do not choose the color of their skin. By approving this proclamation and according to the town's policies and procedures for approving such a request, Winchendon is bringing much-needed awareness and special honor to what the LGBTQIA+ community has faced, and Winchendon is stating it will recognize and see all members of the community and provide a safe, inclusive and strong community."

Selectman Barbara Anderson thanked the three young women for bringing this issue to everyone's attention. "It's an issue that is very close to me, as my family suffered a tragedy a few years ago because of this, and the lack of acceptance that they felt here in town," she said.

Selectman Danielle LaPointe commented, "I know that bringing awareness to this has been a huge effort of the student population in the schools for quite a few years, I remember seeing banners and stuff...but it's very important to bring that beyond the school walls and into the rest of the environment."

The Board voted unanimously to approve the proclamation, which Board of Selectmen Chair Audrey LaBrie then read aloud. (Selectman Amy Salter was not present.)

Read the Full Proclamation (PDF)

* LGBTQIA+ is an acronym standing for "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, and more--"more" including but not limited to non-binary, ally, pansexual, androgynous, and polyamorous.

Stone Ladeau Funeral Home

Central Mass Tree

Horseback riding
Casually horsing around!
It was a nice night on Friday, June 12 for a casual stroll whether on two feet or four. Seen in this photo, Michelle Richard of Winchendon enjoys a peaceful Grove Street evening trot with her beloved traveling companion, moving through the town in peace and harmony.
Photo by Keith Kent

Subway April 2021 Steak Sub Ad

Click Here for Community Directory

Winchendon Businesses, Organizations, Services, and Government

Applications Available for Senior Tax Work-off Program

The Senior Work-Off Abatement Program is a program allowing the Town of Winchendon the opportunity to utilize the knowledge and skills of its senior residents in exchange for credit toward the resident's property tax bill. The purpose of this program is:

  • To employ qualified senior citizens who will apply their earnings toward payment of a portion of their property taxes;
  • To increase senior citizen involvement in local government; and
  • To enhance municipal service by using the skills of resident senior citizens.
Qualified and income-eligible residents will accrue the Commonwealth's minimum wage per hour ($13.50/hr) toward a maximum credit of $1,100.00 per household during the fiscal year. The criteria for this program is:
  • You must be 60 years old or older
  • Homeowner in Winchendon and occupy property
  • Annual income below $40,150 if single; or below $45,900 if married.
Applications for the program are now available in the Town Manager's office or on the town website, and will be accepted until the eight slots are filled. There are different types of positions that are available depending on the preference and qualifications of the resident and the needs of each department. Types of past and current positions have been: Custodial services, clerical help for both School & Town, library aides, Senior Center aids, cable station operator, Bike Path clean up, painting, light outdoor work and classroom volunteers. Click here for more information and a downloadable application.

Now Seeking Volunteers to Serve on Master Plan Implementation Committee (MPIC)

At their February 22, 2021 meeting, the Board of Selectmen unanimously voted to adopt the Master Plan presented to them, and to establish a Master Plan Implementation Committee (MPIC) for the purpose of overseeing the execution of the Master Plan as outlined.

The Winchendon Master Plan describes the will of the people of Winchendon. All town boards, commissions, committees, staff and citizens should use this Plan to guide their work in creating the future everyone seeks. The Master Plan Implementation Committee (MPIC) is charged with overseeing its execution and will work with the Town Manager and Responsible Leads. Members of the MPIC have a demonstrated interest in and knowledge of the Master Plan, are a Winchendon resident or have vested interest in the community, are a demonstrated team player, are reliable and have at least one of these qualifications:

  • Project management
  • Communications
  • Town history
  • Knowledge of "how things work"
MPIC specific responsibilities include:
  • Coordinate and monitor implementation
  • Collaborate with players to develop and track execution goals
  • Assist with goals that require additional resources
  • Encourage ongoing citizen engagement
  • Assess status of specific actions, evaluate priorities, and suggest new implementation techniques where appropriate
  • Identify successful strategies and barriers to progress
  • Periodically evaluate the plan
  • Create a mechanism to provide updates and progress reports to the Board of Selectmen
To see the full Master Plan, click here.

The Board of Selectmen is currently accepting letters of interest to serve on this committee. If you are interested, please send your letter of interest to the Town Manager's Office, 109 Front Street, Winchendon MA 01475 or to Taylor at

Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce Seeks Information on Available Commercial Properties in the Region

Carol Jacobson, President and CEO of the Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce has announced that the Chamber is compiling a list of available commercial and industrial properties in the region. This list will be included in a data base that will be made available to the public in an effort to help market the region and facilitate economic development initiatives.

Tracy Murphy, Director of Planning & Development is currently compiling a list of available properties in Winchendon. Property can be existing structures or buildable land but must be zoned for commercial or industrial use(s). If you own or know of properties that are available for purchase or lease please send an email that includes details and photos, if available, and pertinent facts about the property that you wish to be included such as price, lease terms, contact info, etc. to: Feel free to reach out to the Planning & Development Department if you have any questions at: 1-978-297-3537.

Town Committee Vacancies
as of May 10, 2021

If you'd like to be an active participant in decision-making and management for your community, consider joining a town committee or board. There are a number of vacancies currently open.

Communications Commission - 1 vacancy
Council on Aging - 1 vacancy
Cultural Council - 8 vacancies
Fence Viewer and Field Driver - 1 vacancy
Historical Commission/Historic District - 1 Alternate vacancy
Master Plan Implementation Committee - 7 vacancies
Open Space Preservation Appraisal and Survey Revolving Fund Advisory Committee - 1 vacancy
Recreation Commission - 1 regular vacancy, 1 student vacancy
Toy Town Community Partnership - 4 vacancies
Zoning Board of Appeals - 2 Alternate vacancies

If you'd like more information about any of these positions or are interested in being considered for an appointment, contact the Town Manager's office at 978-297-0085, or send a letter to Town Manager, 109 Front Street Dept. 1, Winchendon MA 01475.

Complete description of each committee's responsibilities, updated for May 10, 2021 (PDF).

Water Use Restrictions Begin May 1

Water use restrictions for users of Winchendon town water will be effective as of Saturday, May 1, 2021 and will remain in effect until October 1.

Outdoor water use is permitted for odd-numbered addresses on odd-numbered days, and for even-numbered addresses on even-numbered days. Watering is permitted only overnight, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m., to minimize water loss from evaporation.

Call the Department of Public Works at 978-297-0170 if you have any questions.

According to the National Weather Service, the Monadnock region is currently experiencing "moderate drought" with below normal amounts of spring rainfall.

If You Call for Emergency Services...

...the Winchendon Fire Department asks that you let the dispatcher know if you have flu-like symptoms, are quarantined or are under self-quarantine. This will allow the first responders to take all necessary precautions to avoiding spreading COVID-19 and to protect themselves and you.

Toy Town FYIs

The 2021 Town Street List is now available at Town Hall and on the town website. You can download a PDF copy at You may purchase the hard copy of the book for $8.00 or $5.00 for seniors. Please call Town Clerk's office at 978-297-2766 to arrange pick up/payment.

The 2020 Annual Town Report is now available at Town Hall and on the town website. You can download a PDF copy at 2020 Town Report PDF. Hard copies are available, free of charge, and can be picked up at the Town Manager's Office during regular business hours (Monday 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. and Tuesday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). To request a copy, call the Town Manager's Office at 978-297-0085, extension 5, or email

2021 Dog Licenses are now overdue. All dogs were required to be licensed by March 31. You may purchase a license through the mail, drop box, or online through the Town Clerk's page. The licenses will be mailed to you. Please be sure to provide a valid rabies certificate. Spayed & Neutered dogs are $10 and Non-Spayed & Non-Neutered dogs are $20.

Sign up for Code Red Emergency Alerts
Sign up for our emergency notification program today! Receive up-to-date information before, during and after an emergency in your neighborhood. You can choose to be notified via voice, text and email notifications of emergency and inclement weather alerts.

Please Do Not Flush Sanitizing Wipes Down the Toilet
Wipes Clog Pipes!

The Department of Public Works is asking all users of the public sewer system to please be careful not to flush santizing wipes down the toilet. These wipes collect in the pumps and destroy them, causing the Town to be forced to replace two pumps just in the last month alone. If a pump at the wastewater treatment plant were to burn out from wipe accumulation, it would cost the Town $30,000 to replace it. Please throw these wipes into your rubbish instead.

Is Your House Number Clearly Visible from the Street?
The Winchendon Fire Department reminds all residents to make sure their house number is clearly visible for first responders who may need to find you. Numbers should be at least four inches high and facing the street, with lighting if possible. Put numbers on a contrasting background so they will stand out. If your driveway is long, put the number on a mailbox or pole on the street or at the end of driveway, facing in both directions. (Reflective numbers are helpful.) Check your house numbers to make sure foliage has not grown up in front of them without your being aware of it.

Town of Winchendon Hiring Multiple Positions

The Town of Winchendon is seeking applicants for several positions, including a part-time Veterans' Agent, a full-time Department of Public Works Foreman, a full-time Department of Public Works Highway Laborer and a full-time Department of Public Works Cemetery Laborer. For complete details and an application, go to: Town of Winchendon Job Opportunities or call 978-297-0085.

Organic Farm Opens CSA Shares for 2021

Many Hands Organic Farm will be hosting its largest organic community supported farmshare yet, with a goal of 200 shares! MHOF focuses on maximum fertility through soil carbon-sequestering techniques that grow the tastiest and most nutrient-dense vegetables. The summer fruit and vegetable CSA starts on May 24 and runs through October 22. Become involved in the local food movement by signing up for a share at

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